2017 Award Finalists
Generosity of Spirit Award
Gordy and Ravinder Dodd
Gordy and Ravinder arrived in Canada in 1977 from India and grew their furniture business from a 2,500 square foot space to three stores on the Island. For the past 40 years, the Dodds have organized and paid for annual Thanksgiving dinners for more than 40,000 homeless Victorians and 1,000 in Nanaimo. For seven years, they have donated Christmas dinners for hundreds. Their annual Walk for Peace supported by 20 volunteers motivates hundreds of walkers to fundraise for causes such as Jeneece Place and Victoria Hospice.
For over 30 years John McEown has been devoting his time, expertise, and money towards our local community. As a volunteer for the Upper Room, John worked diligently to ensure that the homeless in Greater Victoria had a place of their own for shelter and nourishment. When the Upper Room and the Open Door merged to create Our Place Society, John was one of the founding donors supporting the campaign to build the facility at 919 Pandora. Recognizing that people need access to support services to overcome poverty, John helped create Our Place’s Hand Up program that has successfully transitioned hundreds of vulnerable people into stable employment.
Patricia & Kenneth W. Mariash Sr.
Master Developers and owners of Focus Equities, Kenneth & Patricia Mariash have made over $3 million in charitable contributions and community event sponsorship investments in the past few years. Their generosity has covered a wide range of initiatives with a philanthropic focus on education, women’s, children’s and seniors’ health, arts and culture, community development, and athletics. They believe in supporting people, communities and teams who demonstrate caring acts of life changing kindness for anyone in need.
Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer Award
For more than 35 years, Deedrie Ballard has juggled raising children, managing her award-winning realtor career and volunteering her time to raise more than $10 million for various charities. A few organizations that have benefitted from Deedrie’s outstanding fundraising volunteerism include: The Art Gallery of Victoria, Sovereign Order of St. John, Knights Hospitaller, Victoria Hospitals Foundation, Victoria Hospice Society, Broadmead Care Society, Victoria Commonwealth Games, Victoria Symphony, St. Margaret’s School, Pacifica Housing Society, and Coats for Kids.
Keith Dagg has been an enthusiastic promoter of Victoria and has made a name for himself as a volunteer, always willing to lend his name and support to a myriad of causes. Once Keith is on board, a team of volunteers is sure to follow. His talent for rallying people behind a cause or event is undeniably hard to match. Keith currently sits on numerous local boards of directors: he is the Chair of the Victoria Curling Legacy Foundation; Co-chaired the 2013 Ford Men's World Curling Championship; serves as a Director for Victoria Highlanders Soccer; the Victoria Open Golf Society, served on the TELUS Community Board, and is a current member of Our Place Society’s Advisory Cabinet.
Tracey, Editor in Chief of NICHE and Drift magazines, is a dedicated volunteer and passionate mentor for young women in the Victoria community. For six years, Tracey has been involved with the Victoria Festival of Trees (FOT) as a Tree Sponsor and member of the volunteer planning committee. During Tracey’s tenure, Victoria FOT has raised $905,350 for the hospital’s Excellence in Child Health Fund, which supports urgent programs and services for patients, research, and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children. In 2016, Tracey became Chair of the FOT committee. Under her leadership and the banner of “Growth”, the event raised $170,500 (a 23% increase from 2015) and featured a record number of trees (85).
Corporate Responsibility Award
Think Communications Inc.
Think Communications is a locally owned IT service provider established in 2005. They believe that their slogan “Great People. Great Ideas.” is the secret to their success and making an outstanding commitment to philanthropy is one idea that has quickly become a part of the company’s DNA. For the last four years, Think has been a champion for The Cycle of Life Tour, a 2-day group cycling event that raises funds for local hospice societies all across Vancouver Island. Their $22,500 in sponsorship dollars have been critical to making the event possible, which has in turn raised more than $400,000 for end-of-life care
The Neal Estate Team at RE/MAX ALLIANCE
Ron Neal lives his life by the mantra, “Give to Live” or the reverse “Live to Give” and has created a culture of giving and service within both his personal sales team, The Neal Estate Team, and also his brokerage, RE/MAX Alliance Victoria. The agents of Ron’s team and office each contribute a portion of their personal earnings to both BC Children’s Hospital and their own internal community support fund from every sale. Since joining the Miracle Network, the Neal Estate Team have raised and donated more than $250,000 for the BC Children’s Hospital. Ron Neal personally served on the BCCHF Board of Governors for more than 10 years and continues to serve on their real estate advisory committee.
CFAX 1070 Radio
Now celebrating 40 years, CFAX Santas Anonymous Society was founded in 1977 by Mel Cooper, then owner of CFAX 1070 radio. Santas Anonymous helps over 1500 families enjoy Christmas, support local community organizations at Christmas, and are founders of the Christmas Giving Network. Since 2002 CFAX Santas Anonymous has given back to the community outside of the Christmas season with special grants of $1,766,000.00. Children go to summer camp, are funded special therapies, have safe playgrounds to play on, and families in crisis are helped in any way possible and so much more.
Outstanding Philanthropic Service Club Award
Royal Jubilee Hospital Auxiliary
The Auxiliary has demonstrated exceptional commitment and leadership in the community since its formation in 1924. For over 90 years Auxiliary volunteers have raised millions of dollars in support of health care and nursing education in Victoria while providing a delightful source of high quality gifts and treats at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. The Auxiliary’s main fundraising project is a busy gift shop staffed by approximately 70 volunteers. The Gift Shop carries a wide selection of products, and most volunteers work three 4 hours shifts per month in the shop while others contribute by knitting or making crafts for sale in the shop.
Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary
The volunteer-led Auxiliary has been supporting the Ladysmith area and health care field over 100 years. They support a wide variety of health care related needs ranging from small kindnesses that make the difference for a single patient to larger gestures that impact many. The Auxiliary, with 200 active members, is a vibrant organization. In 2015 they raised and donated over $262,000 in medical equipment and support for health related non-profit organizations. Their fundraising efforts have grown from presenting one-off events to operating a well-curated, well-supported thrift shop and the Health Care Centre gift shop, both located in Ladysmith.
Sisters of St. Ann
Arriving in Victoria in 1858, the Sisters of St. Ann (SSA) of St. Joseph’s Province immediately started educating children and caring for the sick. After opening Victoria’s St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1876, they established St. Joseph’s School of Nursing which educated many generations during its 81 years. Over their years of service, the SSA opened 38 schools and 10 hospitals. The Sisters subsidized these institutions and endeavors with their labour and money. The SSA in the Pacific Northwest has dwindled to 33 members and their average age is 82. Yet their saga of philanthropy, determination and spiritual passion has not ended as their Congregation winds down. They continue to exemplify philanthropy and inspire generosity.
Youth in Philanthropy Award ages 5-10
Liam Docherty, Ewan Docherty & Connor Docherty
In 2015 the boys learned that the local emergency shelter had issued an urgent appeal for donations and decided to use their musical talents to raise money for others. The boys wrote to Country Grocer requesting permission to busk outside their store and asking them to match the money they raised. Country Grocer agreed and the busking events raised a total of $1,200. In 2016 after receiving a tour of the food bank and learning that $1 provides 3 meals a day to one child, they set a target to feed one child for one year. After learning of the boys new initiative, Country Grocer offered to provide a stage area near the bakery department of the store and the boys raised $378, enough to feed a child for a year.
Victoria Hospice holds a special place in Sophie’s heart. Nearly two years ago, her grandpa spent the last few weeks of his life at Hospice’s palliative care unit. Shortly after her second birthday, Sophie toured the Hospice Rooftop Garden while visiting her grandpa. She noticed something was missing. She returned the next day to donate a beautiful hummingbird feeder that she had received for her birthday. When Sophie Coburn was planning her carnival-themed 4th birthday party, she was adamant that it have philanthropic twist. She set up a game for her preschool-aged friends called Coin Drop 4 Hospice. Funds raised by her pals were matched by Sophie’s family and $116 was donated to Victoria Hospice.
Youth in Philanthropy Award ages 11-18
100 Girls Victoria
100 Girls Victoria was formed in the fall of 2015 by Lily Cote and Ella Stanger with the intention of creating a community of girls between the ages of 8 and 13 years old who come together and donate to charity. Today, 100 Girls Victoria has four leaders; Lily, Ella, Sam and Miia who plan, organize and lead the meetings that happen three times a year. To date, 100 Girls Victoria has hosted 5 meetings, which average 25-30 girls participating, and they have donated $3,168.38 to 7 different charities including the BC Children’s Hospital, Pacific Assisted Dog’s Society, Out of the Rain Youth Shelter, World Wildlife Fund, and KidSport. They officially have 75 members and their goal is to reach 100 members.
The Victoria Women's Transition House staff worked closely with Stuart on two important fundraising projects for VWTH – Fashion for Transition in October of 2016; and Fashion for Compassion in February 2017. Both these projects required significant planning and coordination of all aspects of the events and Stuart was instrumental in their success. In each case, he worked with a small volunteer committee and produced two incredible fashion events that raised thousands of dollars for Victoria Women’s Transition House. Stuart is a young man of high integrity with a passion for fashion, community service and philanthropy. He continues to impress everyone with his leadership, dedication and service to community.
Emma Locke ("Two Hearts. One Wish.")
Emma’s philanthropic efforts began approximately one year ago and grew out of her experience as a cardiac patient at BC Children’s. Both Emma and her older sister Kennedy had life-saving heart surgery at the hospital. The name “Two Hearts. One Wish.” reflects the desire of both young women to support the hospital. Eleven-year-old Emma has spear headed the making and selling of one-of-a-kind friendship bracelets to raise funds. To date, “Two Hearts. One Wish.” has donated over $4,500 and hundreds of activity kits to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Emma has inspired her friends and family and created an opportunity for them to be philanthropic.